LUNG FORCE Heroes
My name is Angela Lee (52 years old) and I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in July, 2015. I had little to no symptoms and was very active, playing sports and going to the gym every other day when I was diagnosed.
My world became a foreign landscape in a matter of minutes as I was told I had Stage IV lung cancer. I went to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion which was confirmed as Stage IV non-small cell adenocarcinoma. I asked for a good lung oncologist doctor in Charlotte, NC and was told that the doctor who used to run the MD Anderson solid tumor department was at Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte, NC. I was able to get in to see that doctor. I did 4 rounds of carboplatin and alimpta and then 5 months of a maintenance infusion of alimpta by itself. My tumor actually shrank a bit with the chemo and then started growing again with the maintenance treatment. The next treatment was a Phase I human clinical trial of selumetinib and MEDI4736 (chemo and immunotherapy). I did that for 7 months and suffered liver function spikes towards the last 2 months so I am now starting another treatment of immunotherapy called Tecentriq.
I am tapering now from the steroid treatment to reduce the high liver function levels. I look at this journey as constantly putting out fires with different treatment options. Most importantly, this has renewed my faith in God and taught me to walk by faith and not by sight. James 1:2-5 is tattooed on my wrist to remind me to be thankful for all of the trials in life, both good and bad, and that the testing of faith produces perseverance.. A positive attitude and surrounding yourself with positive people will help so much. I know there is a reason I am going through this trial and I plan on making the most of every day - which is 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. That's A LOT of time to be thankful every day. I know my cancer journey has made me a better person and I plan on inspiring others to know they can have a great story, too. It's a walk by faith and not by sight. God is good. If God be for me then who dare be against me. Cancer doesn't have a chance.
First published: November 30, 2016
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Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.